One year ago, BuzzFeed unearthed photo of a seemingly ordinary dress on Tumblr. But quickly, the Internet began losing its mind over the garment.
Was it black and blue or white and gold?
People who saw the dress couldn’t seem to decide in an epic optical illusion. The BuzzFeed article exploded with more than 38 million readers arguing over the dress’ colours (people who physically saw the dress later confirmed that it was indeed black and blue).
The Dress began on this Tumblr page, where a user posted a photo of the dress with the caption, “guys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f–k out.”
Here’s the dress:
And people on Twitter were completely freaking out whether this dress was blue and black or white and gold. (Note: some of the embedded tweets contain NSFW language.)
folks i do colours for a living and that dress is blue and black. the yellowish lighting is making the black part look sorta gold.
— Bobby McKenna (@bobby) February 27, 2015
The dress is white and gold an I feel physically ill.
— Tom Ley (@ToLey88) February 27, 2015
Is the dress prettier when you see it as white and gold? I don’t understand what’s happening
— Maureen O’Connor (@maureenoco) February 27, 2015
Taylor Swift saw black and blue.
I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow. I’m confused and scared.PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) February 27, 2015
Mindy Kaling also chimed in.
IT’S A BLUE AND BLACK DRESS! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) February 27, 2015
As did BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith.
My daughter thinks it’s blue and green and we are headed to the ER
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 27, 2015
And New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac.
holy god the dress just changed colours on me
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) February 27, 2015
And of course, Denny’s.
*stops furiously scribbling amidst dozens of coffee cups*there is no dress. it is not the dress that changes colours, it is only yourself.
— Denny’s (@DennysDiner) February 27, 2015
Naturally, the debate surrounding the dress included the Illuminati.
And the llamas that were loose in Arizona earlier that day.
I wish I had the skillz to photoshop that dress onto a llama.
— Lindsey Turrentine (@lturrentine) February 27, 2015
Today, some people are seeing The Dress differently than they did one year ago. Like Inc journalist Burt Helm:
So, what’s the reason our eyes play tricks on us when it comes to the dress?
It has to do with rods and cones in our retinas. Business Insider’s Dina Spector breaks it down: “We have three types of cones, each tuned to pick up green, red, or blue wavelengths of light. When light hits our eyes, the receptors turn these colours into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. Our brains determine the colour that we see by blending the signals that each receptor senses — like how a TV screen made of millions of different-coloured pixels makes an image. In person, the dress is clearly blue and black. The lighting of the image, which has a bluish tint, appears to be what is throwing people’s brains off. It makes the blue part look white and black part look gold.”
There you have it. Still not convinced? Here’s the complete scientific explanation for The Dress.
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